Towards the end of the 1930's and beginning
of the 1940's, my brother Donald and I enjoyed many train journeys, from
Edinburgh to the Blair Athol or Cairngorm areas.
When arriving at Perth, we noted that there
was a slight delay, while the Glasgow train arrived, and it's coaches
coupled to the rear of our train.
Some of the Glasgow passengers would then
look into the Edinburgh section to see if there was more room, the
passengers having wished and alighted in Perth.
In due time the train left Perth for the
With the foregoing in mind we heard a story
about a group of eight young students from Glasgow, heading north for a
weekend hill walking.
When walking along the Perth platform,
looking for an empty compartment, one of the students, unknown to
himself, dropped his rail ticket.
One of the other students, picking up the
ticket and with one finger over his lips, indicating the others had to
say nothing about the dropped ticket.
As the train approached Pitlochry, a voice
could be heard from the corridor, All tickets ready please". Yes it was
the ticket inspector.
The students brought out their tickets,
except the one who had dropped his one. Muttering in a bit of a panic,
he said to his fellow students, you can all vouch for me that I did have
The other students said that the inspector
would probably not accept that, and would insist on full payment.
The student who found the ticket suggested
that his friend hides himself under the seat, but this was rejected...
well until the voice could be heard getting nearer "All tickets ready
It was too much and the unfortunate student
succumbed, and struggled to get under the seat. His friends used jackets
and small haversacks, to hide the parts still showing.
At this point the one with the found ticket
collected the others from his companions, and it was just moments later
that the compartment door slid open and the voice "All tickets ready
The tickets were then handed to the
inspector who said, "There are eight tickets, and only seven of you"...
to which a jacket was moved to show the face of the one under the seat,
and the reply given was, "Oh our friend prefers to travel this way".
Giving a knowing smile the inspector slide
the door closed and was again heard to say "All tickets ready please".
I never did hear what happened next in the
compartment with the students.
Good clean fun....